Dear Diary….cleaning up and cashing in

When the fire died down, we could examine the gold throne – which was the only thing left in the room. Turns out the seat is all weird and…bowl-like, like for a giant “elephant”-shaped thing to sit in. So we broke it up into pieces, because at least the gold will be worth something (maybe Mikael will forge himself a new grove-chair).

We circled the walls to make sure we hadn’t missed anything, and checked out a place on the far side of the pillars-and-throne room that Ezekiel noticed while he was running around hyper. It’s a huge rectangle of dirt with a border of stone where you can walk.

Ezekiel used magic to tell us there was something mushroom-shaped down there, and Tressarian smelled something magical in the very middle…but we all smelled a trap, so Mikael’s going to request some spell to control the plants or calm the plants or keep them off our backs or something so we can get to the magic thing. We’re coming back tomorrow anyway so Lydia can use her detection abilities on the pillars and silver throne (she should be able to get more information than Tres can, since she’s a specialist).

We loaded up some candelabra that Ezekiel noticed earlier and really wanted for some reason, and confirmed that the big purple throne in the pillar room is magical somehow (that’s the room that’s so big, with all the pillars shaped like ugly mushrooms. I guess we’ll have something else to investigate eventually).

**

Nice surprise when we got back to the inn. A minstrel was there from the Grand Duchy of Geoffe! and he sang Hrvstllygg Tymll very nicely. He also says a ranger (I bet that’s Master!) was patrolling near Ertulli, and discovered the smoking bodies of goblins! Someone has been clearing out…we’ll have to see if it’s someone good, or the Mage of the Valley moving even further out.

He also shared some big news about the capital. Apparently some magicians were plotting against the Grand Duke (the horror!) and planning a coup, but before they could make their move, they all turned up dead…they and their zombie armies (so you know they were up to no good!). He said there was something strange about the way they died – like their own spells were used against them or something – and Lydia got really interested.

By the end of the evening, we’d told him what we could about the Temple and the nodes (he heard the bones of the story in Mitrik). Even if it ends on an anti-climax, maybe it’ll still sound cool when he plays that “da-na-pwew” chord.

****

A messenger brought Heiron a very nice suit – dark colors that show off his Veluna and Furiundy medals very nicely. He hasn’t said where it came from, but you can tell he likes it. Makes him look older, even.

**

Lydia got us back into the place with all the thrones. She says the pillars have something to do with alteration, and locks…she and Ezekiel think maybe it locks the portal-rune somehow, but they’re not sure how. They even wonder if it doesn’t “go to” anywhere, but it was a way for the Queen to escape – except that it was locked. Hard to know now. Did it have anything to do with that pillar of light at the bottom of the Temple??

Dealing with the dirt pit was an adventure. Mikael cast something that would protect him from plants/mushrooms (I think like they couldn’t get near him or something), and I went out there with him, because I had Tressarian and a shovel. I couldn’t hold my shield at the same time, so Ezekiel was giving us light from the stone walkway.

As soon as we stepped out into the dirt, a bunch of mushrooms popped out of the dirt. I caught a glimpse of countless tentacles flailing ineffectively around our shield – plus a thick crowd of little, misshapen faces carpeting the ground, jeering at us – and then…

Then they gave little coughing shrieks and shriveled up, like earthworms in a hot sun. The ones directly to the side of Mikael and me, in our shadows, kind of froze in horror…and then Ezekiel moved around a bit, and the continual light on his shield withered them. What can I say? When we finished laughing, we shoved aside the soft bodies of the fungi to dig down the magic item. Turned out to be a wand in an ivory box, so that was nice.

About the dusty rocks on the shelf in the secret passage… Lydia said they had trap magic on them, but Raven decided to risk it. After all, Schakka said there was a panel behind them, so he wanted to see what it was. The rest of us all stood well back, all the way to the portal-rune in the next room, and watched him move the rocks.

He prodded the first one with his spear, and a blade dropped down and cut the spear in half. He poked the second one, and jumped aside as a stream of green shot out of the wall and coated the silver throne. We all recognize a green slime when we see one, so Lydia doused it with our oil and lit it.

I guess Raven was getting impatient or something, because he went and grabbed the last two stones away at the same time. Next thing you know, a panel slid back – and there’s a row of magic items waiting in a secret cupboard.

Along with a couple wand-things and a box of potions, there’s a ring that’s either for floating or flying…or making yourself glow. Or being happy all the time. Or making your voice all high and squeaky. Raven is threatening to just try it out and see what happens.

There was still one last suite we hadn’t explored, and it was quite interesting. The first room was a sitting room – typical decadent Temple furnishings – with gold bowl full of platinum coins. (Heiron pointed out they weren’t normal currency – they have the Queen’s “face” on one side, and a rune for Evil on the other. They should melt down fine, though.)

The second room was more like a council chamber or study. It had a long table, and a huge map on the wall of the Flannaes…with colored dots and magic writing here and there.

Ezekiel and Lydia ran forward to study it (after we checked it wasn’t rigged to explode) and I copied down the vital items:

[double-page sketch with dots and scribbles]

Lydia thinks the cryptic marks might be a magical code, but she’ll need more time to study it. It is a little worrying that most – if not all – of the cities there have some kind of colored dot or note on them. Is this an invasion? A roll-call??

Raven found a great little armory inside a closet. It’s all silver-infused weapons, which should be great for fighting werewolves or devils (it pays to be prepared). Raven got a new silver-tipped spear, and I got a new stock of silver arrows (since my last batch was seriously flimsy). There’s also a sword edged with silver, but a person can only have so many swords…and Tressarian is special.

****

Sir Rufus and Father Yra agree that the map is very interesting. In fact, they think the Arch-Cleric in Mitrik should see it…It might be concerning to him, depending on what it means.

Ezekiel decided that means we all need to trot off and deliver it to him. I guess since the Temple is basically cleared out, and the nodes have disappeared, there’s not a lot else for us to do.

Elmo will stay here, though…it’s kind of his job. He said I could get him some Mitrik sweetcake, except it probably wouldn’t keep the several weeks it’ll take us to ride back.

****

At camp tonight, Ezekiel spent a hour or so with his eyes closed, mumbling to himself. He says the last gem is “within a week’s travel of Homlette,” and sent Mikael off in bird form to tell Sir Rufus. Like, what does he think the Homlette council is going to do? Set Wizard Master Marn to scry it? Scramble a search party to comb that size of an area? Besides which, if you’re thinking about things and people that can shift in and out of fake dimensions, a “week’s travel” could be almost anywhere in the multi-verse! (Lydia taught us that word.)

Anyway, the gem is our job, not theirs, and if he was really worried about it, he should have let some of us go back, since we don’t all need to report to the Arch Cleric, but he wasn’t in a mood to listen to me. Is he ever in a mood to listen to me?

Burned my thumb on the campfire.

****

AHhhhhh Mitrik is so big! Definitely bigger than home, which I finally realized felt like a much bigger place to a boy under ten who was not allowed to wander by himself.

Heiron looks so great in his new outfit, and it really shows off his medals nicely. It felt strange to be wearing them at first, but of course this is the place to wear them – and even I do not anticipate a dragon melting them off in the near future. Lydia and Raven even speculated that the shopkeepers might give us a discount for being knights and elders of the realm, though Mikael and I wonder if they might charge us more.

I also think Heiron’s scars aren’t so noticeable as they seemed at first (maybe having time to get used to his face), and certainly none of the barmaids at the inn seem bothered by it.

The Arch-Cleric’s secretary said we should come to the palace first thing in the morning, which is really quick scheduling considering how busy the Arch Cleric must be…but I guess it’s true we are kind of celebrities, although I keep forgetting that.

Ezekiel and Raven have gone off to the magic shops, hoping to find some special things. Mikael wants to visit the local druid grove, but we will probably peek into some shops if we have time after visiting the Arch-Cleric tomorrow.

****

The Arch-Cleric was so nice! He actually paid us money for turning over the map, while I figured it was just our duty. (Politics is so confusing. Maybe if I had ever been a page, it would make more sense.)

Lydia explained what she’d figured out from studying the cryptic magic notations, and I’m sure he has magicians of his own to work on what it means. Hope it’s useful.

Oh, yes…apparently Ezekiel (and Raven) are planning to set up a fortress/monastery/temple/water park somewhere…for their God of all gods. (Ezekiel went on about this special fountain he wants in the front yard or something.)

The Arch-Cleric gently pointed out that most of the land around here is taken and under the protection of our allies, but that he’d keep his ears open for a place that needed an edifice to Lawful Good.

Once we were done talking, Ezekiel and Raven went off to talk to some “agents” – apparently people with connections to adventurers, or who connect adventurers to jobs that need doing – to ask them to keep their eyes open for good Champions. Come to think of it, they asked the bard in Homlette to keep his eyes open for any Lawful Good warriors who might want to be part of a fortress/monastery/temple/water park and direct them our way…but I didn’t pay much attention because I didn’t know what Ezekiel was talking about.

I suppose it is true that Ehlonna and Merikka and such have shrines all over the place – but the God of gods doesn’t really have any place to assemble worshipers and receive tribute or anything (as far as I know, Ezekiel and Raven are His only worshippers, since we’ve all agreed the fishy guy in Greyhawk doesn’t count).

Anyway, Raven has gone off to the dagger-shops, and Ezekiel and Lydia went to explore the side of town that sells magic items. They suggested we might be able to find some better armor here, and there’s only one way to find out if they’re right…

**

[sketch of gauntlet]

Mikael found some armored gloves that he says will help him punch things really hard. Don’t question him about it. I still hurt.

He also found a super cool cloak that messes with your vision or something so it’s harder to hit him (useful for a guy who has something against metal armor!).

[sketch of chainmail]

Heiron and I were nosing around, just seeing what there was to see, when we came across this armor shop with some nice-looking magic chainmail. I already have magic chainmail, of course, but the shopkeeper started telling us anecdotes about how well it served the previous owner (a noble who retired from adventuring, and sold it since he had all granddaughters anyway).

He even let us take it into the alley out back and shoot arrows at it, and after watching Heiron shoot at it, I was seriously impressed! Yeah, I don’t understand how magic armor works, but I like to think of it as the reverse-faery-fire. Heiron says the suit matches my medals too, though that is not why I bought it. There just better not be an acid dragon that comes up and melts it right away!

This shopkeeper also told us where we could find some reputable magic arrows, and while they were a bit more than I’m used to spending, at least now I have more chances to hit weird magic monsters at range. And recovering my arrows after a battle will remind me of the old days.

It’s so hard to get used to the idea of being rich. Not that long ago, we were pinching and counting every silver piece. Of course, now that the Temple is basically cleared out, we won’t have so many Evil people to pillage.

If my parents could see me now…


Find the previous entry here.

Dear Diary….OH like mushrooms actually worship her!?

Alert: DEFINITELY contains SPOILERS for the adventure “The Temple of Elemental Evil”

Lydia decided on the side of boldness and valor and whatever, and went into the room.

I stood guard, pushing the curtain with my back so I could see both sides (thankfully it wasn’t another flesh-eating purple fungus).

Directly in front of me sat a silver throne – glinting with gems, but mostly in shadow. Ezekiel stood off to the side, his shield trying to blind me, while he spun hither and thither and waved his mace. The others were scattered around the steps of the throne, with Raven and Heiron closest to the corner by me.

Ezekiel yelled, “There’s something invisible in the corner!” and banged his mace on the floor.

Someone (we think it was the mace!) growled, “Hu kyam!”

(I don’t know what else it did, but that’s all I saw.)

Lydia was rubbing a silver coin on the ground. Mikael waved his hand in the air. Ezekiel rushed toward the corner.

And then things got…really weird. Raven jerked around, yelping, and something shook the floor with an incredible thump/bang.

Well, from the way Raven’s body was…squishing…I lined up a shot. My first two arrows disappeared, and while there were no satisfying bellows of pain, I think they nailed something.

Ezekiel was vibrating again, like he did way back when, and then–

Then Mikael got his spell to work. We saw a huge, bulbous shape – out-lined and high-lighted with the glow of faery fire – stretching out tentacles of some kind to whack at Raven…but that’s the best I can get at describing it. The pictures on the Temple walls hardly do it justice…the thing was hideous.

With something clearer to shoot at (although we still couldn’t make sense of the anatomy!) Heiron and I lit into it, while Mikael dragged a limp Raven away from the conflict and did some healing. Lydia summoned Simba, who leapt forward, all claws whirling – and finally, finally, Ezekiel had his mace prepped the way he wanted it, and he swung.

Even he could hardly miss a target that size. Thud, splat – and the whole shuddering mass became visible as it dropped off the wall and flopped to the floor.

[rough sketch, scrubbed out]

Nope, I can’t even do it justice. Suffice to imagine an elephant (Lydia told us about this creature called an elephant), only round, and with a mushroom for a head. And then crank the Ugly factor way, way up.

Thank goodness we didn’t have to look at it too long, since the whole thing melted into…black fog?…and evaporated. Ezekiel says that means “she can’t come back for a really long time” – which, who knows what that means, but I hope it’s all over for now.

Raven sat up, and Ezekiel said, “IgonnagoexplorewhileIstillgotProtectionfromEvilokbye,” and ran off.

**

Ezekiel is on the Depressive swing

Why do we always come in the back door?!

LEGEND OF MIKAEL THE GOD-BOTHERER

I noticed Elmo wasn’t there, but someone had seen him running off through the doors, so Heiron and I went to find him. We caught up with him – and Ezekiel – back in the room where our fortress was, which is where we found the first hint that something was wrong:

The rune-circles on the floor were all gone.

When we rejoined the others, the big electrum rune-circle there, in front of the silver throne, was still glowing. I don’t think I mentioned that before – I didn’t really attach importance to it while there was something attacking us, and afterwards I just walked around it because I was worried about Elmo (he’s fine; just sheepish. Too bad he missed such a big fight. Ezekiel felt the need to bring up the banshee episode which is not cool of him).

Beyond the rune-circle are three columns, about twelve feet tall and topped with a skull worked as a piece with each pillar. They look like they’re made of gold, platinum, and electrum (Ez says the “old lady” tried to buy us off with them…or tried to trick us into touching them, one of the two. They’re covered with swirling sigils and runes that keep moving around, and I’m sure not going to touch them if I can help it!).

Ezekiel says when he first entered the room, a shriveled old crone was sitting in the throne. She asked him to take her gold and leave her alone, then vanished – apparently turning invisible and running around like a huge mushroo-phant. And I’m telling this quite badly, but we’ve all had a bit of a shock.

When we had regrouped, we headed back to the fortress – and the mirror-portal. Lydia went through first (with Raven to protect her), then we followed with the fortress. Even though it was getting on in the evening, we were worried about the stone giants (how’s that for a switch?) and Lydia tried to scry them…but couldn’t find them anywhere in her mirror.

We all felt this was a big enough deal that we should report to our “bosses” as soon as possible…so Lydia sent “Keom dear” to round up Sir Rufus and the other Homlette leaders. Ezekiel went up to the tower roof to stride around and stare meaningfully into the night, I guess. He kept muttering, “Just like Watermill…just like Watermill,” which is one of those moods when you just leave him be.

[written in Lawful Good]

It took a while, since everyone had their evening duties to wrap up, but finally we got Druid Master Geru, Sir Rufus, Wizard Marn, Father Yra, Canon Turjon and Brother Celmert, and the village elder all piled into Sir Rufus’ quarters in the tower.

Ezekiel started by telling them we killed something suspiciously like the Mushroom Queen – but some of us were not quite convinced that it was actually her. After all, I thought the whole point of the key and the nodes was that they had her trapped, and we couldn’t get to her to kill her without the key??

However, the node portals disappearing is a big event for sure – especially since we still don’t have the last gem!

Wizard Marn says he’s been studying the “yellow skull,” with its four slots for gems, and he thinks perhaps holding the skull would let the person travel to different places…and also that it might be possible to destroy the skull if all four key-stones were seated, and then the skull was attacked with all four elements. Sounds very complicated…especially when we only have three stones.

Honestly, I didn’t understand a lot of what he said, but Lydia was taking notes – and she gave Ezekiel a present that some guy gave her for “his mission,” so that cheered him up a bit.

****

[in Common]

Goodmonth 13

It’s been quite strange around here, to say the least.

First thing this morning, Lydia tried to scry the statue of Nori that Mikael made in the Air Node. No result. We know she was able to before, since she used it to send us back there once, but today it didn’t work.

The problem’s not with the mirror, either, because she dropped us on the bottom floor of the Temple where the portals to the Nodes and the Elemental Plains used to be…but now the rune-circles for all the Nodes are gone. It definitely seems the Nodes have…vanished into thin air.

Tressarian confirmed that the three gems we have are still magical…we’re just unclear what exactly they do. Mikael suggested touching the stone to an animal – like a mouse or something – and seeing if they disappear…then trying to find them with the mirror. The objection was that the animal would take the stone with them, and who knows if they might end up in limbo or null-space or the void or something.

Ezekiel said he couldn’t get a question-and-answer session with his god for another week, so we sent one of the ever-helpful disciples to ask Father Yra for a favor…but while he was gone Ezekiel and Raven got into a…squabble? I think it started when Ezekiel was saying “maybe not an animal” or something, and Raven said, yeah, we couldn’t risk Ezekiel zapping himself into e-space for an experiment, and Ezekiel got all hot and indignant that he wouldn’t do anything so reckless (conveniently forgetting his instances of recklessness, I guess).

Mikael and I kinda looked at each other, not sure what to do, and by the time Father Yra arrived, Raven had wrapped Ezekiel in his rope of entanglement and Ezekiel was yelling at him.

Finally, after Lydia said she trusted Ezekiel to listen to the rest of us, Ezekiel swore to not experiment with the gems without the party’s approval, and Raven let him go. I guess the stress of everything is wearing on people in different ways. (And, after all, it’s Ezekiel’s experimentation that got us to that place where the “old lady” was.)

After explaining our position to Father Yra, he agreed to commune for some answers for us.

#1 Have the Nodes collapsed? (yes)

#2 Did we really kill the Old Lady? (yes – much discussion)

#3 Are the people trapped in Nodes all right? (no…moment of silence)

#4 Is the magic circle in the throne room a portal? (yes)

#5 If so, does it lead to the Mushroom Queen? (no – at which Ez said, Good, we don’t want to go to Abyss)

#6 If/Since Nodes collapsed, can we destroy the “yellow skull” without the fourth stone? (no – party disturbed)

#7 Can the Nodes be accessed from the area beyond the throne? (no…makes sense in light of them being collapsed)

#8 Does the skull make the throne at the top of the Temple “go down”? (yes…guess what Ezekiel’s going to experiment on soon?)

We took the day off while waiting for Father Yra’s answers. I think we all needed time to process what happened. Elmo and I took Heiron and Mikael fishing, and Raven took his disciples to chase birds out of the local fields – lap after lap after lap.

I actually feel bad for the stone giants. We kinda made a promise to them…but apparently we weren’t able to keep it. Elmo says that’s how life goes sometimes, and he thinks Ezekiel just needs time to find peace about it.

It’s weird to think we might have beaten the Big Bad without even meaning to. Mikael wonders if Ezekiel’s quest-compulsion-spell is lifted now, and I guess there’s only one way to find that out…well, that or Ezekiel can ask his deity some time next week.

In the meantime, there’s some cleaning-up we want to do.

****

Fresh day, fresh start. Right after breakfast, we want to clear out the Old Lady’s quarters…

**

Lydia got us back to the room with the silver throne no trouble. Schaka says the three pillars there (platinum, gold, electrum) are not trapped…at least not in the normal ways. The runes all over them seem to still be “alive” (they’re still glowing and moving around) and we don’t really want to touch them. Ezekiel prodded the pillars with his mace, and they toppled over like they were hollow or something. His magic clerical “sixth sense” for traps didn’t sense anything wrong with them, either…but none of us are in the mood to take freaky chances at the moment.

The gems all over the silver throne and the steps are also magical (and now that I’ve actually taken time to look at them, they’re shaped into little ugly faces…because naturally). Ez dug one out and tried dispelling a curse from it, but that didn’t change its magical reading…sooo we left those alone for now, too.

Out in the hallway (where we first entered the silver-throne room), there’s a shelf arranged with rocks. Dusty, magic rocks.

Now, these – Ezekiel’s trap-aura alerted him to something fishy here…he thinks that if you touched them, you’d be turned into something…or it would turn into something, perhaps. There’s a code word for deactivating it – but each stone has a different word, and we’re not that anxious to collect random rocks anyway.

There’s a room full of dirt…no magic, no tricks, just ordinary, lush soil…which is quite bizarre in the context.

There’s a “sitting room”…and, there’s another throne room.

We will not be sitting in the “sitting room”…Ezekiel says the stools and such are all trapped in a very similar way to the rocks on the shelf…and so are some the mushroom statues. That’s statues of mushrooms, made out of ivory and shell and porcelain and all kinds of things. I think I only recently figured out that “Mushroom Queen” means, like, queen of the mushrooms. Maybe that’s why she’s so grumpy…because mushrooms are, like, not that smart, and won’t do what she tells them.

As for the latest throne room…

Well, we tip-toed through the “sitting room” (avoiding the stools and statues pretty well, all things considered), and opened the next door – to discover a big, lavish apartment with gaudy tapestries all over the walls, and fat, colorful sofas and armchairs and thick, fluffy carpets, and the like. Ezekiel took one sniff, and announced the whole place reeked of trap magic – alteration flavor, like all the others…all except the tapestries, and the gold throne in the very center of the room.

He waved his hand and mace and holy water a bit, to dispel the magic…and then we had one of the most hair-raising experiences in this whole off-kilter week.

As the spell dissipated, the sofa cushions “turned into” violet molds, the armchairs “turned into” ochre jellies…the ottomans were black puddings, the couches were green slimes – it was like a wild smorgasbord of every slimy, sticky, gooey, disgusting pile of living slime you could ever wish to quietly avoid in a dungeon…all “staring” at us, and making their way toward us as fast as their little pseudopods could take them.

Then – Mikael became our best friend for life. He tossed his mistletoe around, and chanted, and the whole throne room erupted in thick, wild thorn-hedge. I don’t know how it grew there, and I don’t care…the splatty sound of slimes being impaled was music to my ears.

Then he did one even better — he stepped up to the thorn-hedge, shot fire from his hand, and lit the whole thing on fire. With hisses, pops, and whistles, the gooey horrors all died…all except the half-dozen oozes that were immune to fire, but by the time they worked themselves free of the thorns, Heiron and I were able to pick them off easily (and Elmo, I guess, but he usually carries his axe around because he’s more used to it).

Mikael really hopes the golden throne will be all right once the fire dies down; I don’t know if he thinks it would look nice in his grove, or what. Raven says, he won’t be the one to carry it out, that’s all.


Find the previous entry here.

Dear Diary….playing with the runes…

Ezekiel wanted to experiment with the magic stones, and the portal runes.

Raven wanted to experiment with the potions of diminution, to see if we could squeeze the giants through Lydia’s portal.

Ezekiel won the argument (for now) but we’re still waiting to see if that was for the best…

He and Raven headed down the hall from the giants’ room to where there’s a circle-rune (Node of Air, I think, but my notes are kinda disorganized), and while they played around with it, I stood watch over the corridor (Ezekiel took the smoky quartz – which we assume matches Air – but gave me the other two stones for safe-keeping).

He started with setting the stone carefully on the edge of the rune circle…but nothing seemed to happen…even after he waited the time it usually takes to teleport with one of the runes. Finally, he just held the stone and stepped into the portal – while Raven held his other hand.

And that’s when they vanished. Continue reading

Dear Diary….a new giant experience

Nothing of interest in the dracolisk…or in his cave. He looks kinda undernourished, but the others didn’t want to wait for me to skin it.

[detailed, sprawling map that runs over several pages]

*Raven found a claw. Elmo thinks it’s a lizard claw.

**Well, now I’ve seen it all most of it something. We were coming up on a tee in one of the passages, when these two lumps of rock peeled themselves off the wall and swiped at us with their claws.

Heiron and Mikael took them out – and it’s true, when you see them in a different context, they look like big lizards…but they’re still the exact color of the stone, and it’s kinda disorienting.

They must have used the grotto just beyond as a lair, because there was a big pile of money there. Elmo pointed out the claw probably came from one of them…maybe they shed them like people shed excess fingernail?

[more map]

#Magic portal rune for Fire Node

**

Well, new experience for me…

We were exploring a side-room when we heard heavy footsteps approaching. Ezekiel went up to investigate, and discovered a huge figure – the exact color of stone! – filling up the entire passageway…a stone giant! Continue reading

Dear Diary….Ezekiel can scry now; and earth-creatures are ugly

I understand now why Sir Rufus and Master Bern built a tower and fort with their dragon treasure. Dragons collect a lot of treasure!

Maybe these black dragons had more than we expected because there were two of them…or maybe the Earth Node has received more treasure in general, so they had more to capture.

Either way. Lydia came out of the portal to check out the situation – then went back to her room. Ezekiel and Raven cradled the two dragon eggs (where are they going to keep those, I wonder!), and in a few minutes the pile of coins started flowing down through the floor! Apparently Lydia had to get Keom and Ronhass to hold the mirror facing the floor, so the treasure would fall to the ground…but obviously it worked. It got plugged up once or twice with a larger item – there was a suit of scale mail, especially, that tried to go through while turned the wrong way – but we got it unstuck and shoved the whole hoard onto Lydia’s floor. Continue reading

Dear Diary….ok dragons are actually dangerous

While we finished cleaning up the dragon remains, and piled its treasure into our various receptacles (including the little chest that shrinks and grows, which Heiron is carrying and I had completely forgotten about), Ezekiel got a hold of Lydia and jumped through the portal to “just ask Father Yra one thing.”

Heiron killed a dun pudding while we waited, and when Ezekiel finally came back, he and Mikael decided we should go confront the giants to see if they had any slaves we should rescue (Tressarian said something about “stab stab extinguish” but we told him to shush so we could be sneaky…er). Also, Ezekiel said he thought he could send them “home” using his mace or something (it sounded kinda technical, and also like he wasn’t sure what he was doing, so I kinda only half-listened).

According to the map, Mikael and Ezekiel figured the northern corridor probably hooked up with where we wanted to be, so we took that route. On the way, we passed a magic portal rune in the shape of an O (Water, maybe? I’m so bad at this game) – and a room with a row of fire pits.

Tres and I went down the row, putting out the fires, until the last one in the line… There, as we stuck Tressarian into the flames, a big red, horned, fiery figure appeared, growling something about “watch where you put that”! (Ez tells me it was an “efreet”.) Continue reading

Dear Diary….the dragon/demon battle we’ve been waiting for

Another morning in the Fire Node. Not too bad a haul, though it didn’t start out great.

We found two bows, which we assume is from the party of girls we mentioned earlier. Though both bows radiate a faint aura of magic, one of them is pretty flimsy and covered with the scorched remains of feathers…might have looked impressive on the wall of some Greyhawk bar before it got burned. The other one has blades stuck all over it – like, coming off the front of the handle, and not even useful blades, either! Even the ends by the bow-string narrow to blades…I’m not sure how you’re supposed to draw the bow to tension! Continue reading

Dear Diary….dragon disappointment

This morning we patched ourselves up and headed back into the Fire Node…no playing with demons this time.

[sketch of map]

We started exploring the southern corridors, not finding much of anything…until Tressarian and I were scanning an empty room for magic and stuff, and a loud scraping noise came down the corridor from the main hallway.

Ezekiel and Mikael took Heiron with them to investigate, and we heard a huge, vibrating voice talking with them.

The rest of us gathered around the doorway, in preparation, and sure enough moments later a blast of hot air (and flickers of flame) shot out past us.

Raven flashed forward with his daggers out, and by the time Tressarian and I got up there, he and Heiron (with his sword Scather) had finished the job.

A red, spiky dragon head lay mangled and blocking the hallway. I thought they were supposed to be the scariest ones, but thanks to our rings of fire protection, it was still a pretty lame dragon fight. Continue reading

Dear Diary….demon drama

Well…it has been a stressful day.

After we found the magic key-stone, we kept exploring the corridors and found three fire-giants holed up in a room. Tressarian was very excited, and we killed one while Heiron and Elmo killed another one…and then the third giant threw down his sword, so Ezekiel held up his hand and told us to stand down.

Stand down? From a fire giant? Tressarian didn’t think so, and he started yelling at the giant in a language we couldn’t understand, and pulling my arm.

But…I didn’t feel like having Ezekiel yell at me today…and besides, it’s true that killing people who have surrendered is bad mojo.

Tressarian wouldn’t stop jumping around and shouting, so he and I went to guard the corridor while Ezekiel did whatever talking he felt like doing.

(We almost forgot about this part, but I’d better put it here: he says the giant said everybody here is a prisoner, and he and his cousins can’t go home; Ez told him to gather his cousins in that room, because if we ran into them somewhere else in the node, we couldn’t make any promises about their safety. I’m not sure leaving them to suffer when the node collapses around them is better than just killing them quick, but Ez says we don’t know what will happen to the nodes for sure, and it’s true we can’t fit them through the portal anyway. Irony there…)

(Oh, also, Mikael and Ezekiel took the giant’s treasure hoard. Insult, injury…but it’s not like I was there to say anything.)

No, I was out in the hallway, “guarding” – and what should stick her face around the corner but what appeared to be a young…woman…wearing not much at all and carrying a staff and bundle (I should have been more suspicious of the bundle…). Continue reading

Dear Diary….well that was anti-climactic…

Alert: Contains spoilers for the adventure “Temple of Elemental Evil”

So we can invade the Fire Node next, Ezekiel gave us a short lecture about the enemies one of the clerics we rescued told us about.

A Bodac is apparently some kind of demon, and can kill you if you just look at it…so he says the plan is for us all to stand back while he tries to hit it with the mace (while protected from evil). There are supposedly efrete there, too, which he says are relatives of the geni…they won’t be necessarily Evil, but it’s safer to be careful around them.

Everybody should be protected from heat, either with a ring, Tressarian, or one of the clerics’ spells – so we head in tomorrow.

****

We made sure Lydia was ready, then gathered around Ezekiel while he touched the gem we assume is the key-stone of fire. Sure enough, we found ourselves in an eight-sided room – four corners and four points like a star. Even with our magic, the heat was sweltering.

Firelight peeked through chinks in the walls, and eight heavy stone doors with brass handles lined the corners of the room. Ezekiel always says to take the right turn, and since north is front on the map, the east is the right (and I drew the map, so I got to pick which way was north). Continue reading